Could I play a dull character?

I would like to know whether it will be possible to 'turn off' or perhaps turn down the story engine for a particular character.

I ask because I am much more interested in the world-simulation aspect of Elyria than the generic MMO 'adventure'. I would like to have three or four characters on the go at the same time, developing complex off-line character (OFC?) scripts for them and watch them get on with the simple life of farming, trading and making lives for themselves. Initially, I would like to populate a hamlet with a few families that I can direct so as to build up and stabilise the area economically and socially and then toy with them a bit - like an interactive soap opera, or a limited "God" game like Populous.

In this context, 'exciting' external events generagted by the Soulbound Engine would mess up my carefully crafted society - it would be annoying if my manipulations to create a "Romeo and Juliet" scenario for a couple of NPC scions of my OFC families, if the family members suddenly had a yen for exploration instead of staying put to make their offsprings lives miserable.

Should this style of play be discouraged? It might be seen as gaining an advantage by two-boxing and alt-zerging, but in the context of CoE I don't think it'd do much harm so long as I only monopolised my little area. I'd still be outvoted or out-armed in county- or duchy-level politics.

So, do y'all think this is reasonable, or should I go back to playing Sim-City?

3/22/2020 1:54:11 PM #1

I don't think this is feasible and here's why. You will still have players operating at a local level, including those passing through your hamlet/village/city.

I'm not sure if you own a settlement or not, but even if you did, it's not clear (at least not to me) how complex we could make these scripts, so I'm of the mind that crafting full stories from scripts alone just may not be feasible.

Additionally, from what I understand the SOulbound Engine is there to create dynamic events and encourage real-time world building. In this context, it cannot be simply "turned off" for a particular area as eventually an event may carry players through the area.

TL;DR: It may be possible to create your own story through scripts, but at the present moment I, personally, haven't seen any evidence that we players will be able to do this. As for the Soulbound engine, it is my personal belief that it cannot be stopped for a particular area.

3/22/2020 2:09:25 PM #2

From what I'm aware, you can (relatively) safely ignore the story engine.

3/22/2020 2:27:52 PM #3

As far as I can tell you can't be exempt from the engine, but you can have your player character willfully ignore it or go against it's desires if you so chose.

If for instance, using your above example, one of your characters gets the "itch" to explore, you are not required to scratch it. You retain ultimate control. It would just become a path not taken.

If this were an NPC who is not under your control, then it would be the engine and the surrounding story lines that would determine their actions.

In that context, if there were a famine in your region, your NPC's would be inclined to react to it. You cannot place them in a local "bubble" that puts them out of that larger loop as that "bubble" would also affect the other players around you. There is no opt out here. The famine hits the whole duchy, not the duchy minus your farm.

We Are The Many... We Are The One... We Are THE WAERD !!!

3/22/2020 3:23:45 PM #4

You may well be right that it is not feasible, and external factors from the surrounding environment could certainly upset the applecart. The scripting language may not really be up to it but I saw some of the awe-inspiring tricks created in the Neverwinter Online foundry engine so I am hopeful.

Being able to ignore the story engine would just mean one less thing to go 'wrong'.

As for other players, though, that would be the real delight; to set up a social power keg for some wanderer to come across and try to fix (or more probably try to set it off) I just love the idea of a PC unwittingly becoming Tibault in my melodrama

3/22/2020 3:28:34 PM #5

You can ignore the story engine, but the story engine will not ignore you.

You may choose not react to anything the story engine throw at you, but there maybe events thrown at your area that force you to react.

Other players will also have an impact on your "village". E.g. your duke may call the banner and if you do not you maybe breaking the law. Let alone PvPers etc.

Never argue with an idiot, cuz he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

Vice mayor of Lux Verloren

3/23/2020 5:56:32 AM #6

I think you will have to put in some significant active time on all of your characters, specifically in the form of mastering professional skills. Being excessively dull is a recipe for being too poor to actually be able to have descendants. Those rooms needed for descendants will cost more than a character with no marketable skills can afford.

3/24/2020 5:50:39 PM #7

As far as the Soulbound Engine goes it just pushes you to do what is is that you like to do based on your affinity to drive you towards one end of the spectrum of light or dark unless you are cognizant of your choices to remain neutral or gray affinity on purpose.

You are the one driving your story based on what you like to do. The consiquences, boons, or reaction the world has in response to those actions is a direct result of all your choices.

The only thing that seems to be finite to your character is the Fate system which again is still a result of your affinity at your birth that is unique to you.

Both engines you can freely choose to participate in the story at any point or you can choose to ignore it's push and pull even though every choice you make is still a result of that choice.

As a Mayor, Count, Duke or whatever package you have will have some degree of responsibility inherant that will directly affect that domain based on how active you are. I have heard that there is a bare minimum that you have to do each day. And just like any civ builder the more you put into keeping citizens happy, healthy, safe, and acting in peoples best interests the better off it will be.

It's your choice if you want to ignore those responsibilities and let that settlement rot by exploring. But, you can also set someone to act in your stead if you do want to go exploring, or you are leading a war from the front lines. It won't be uncommon for a count to travel to neighboring domains within their duchy and you could spend tons of time just exploring a duchy in a lifetime for all the mines, dungeons, and POI's just in your immediate proximity, or going to the kingdom capital to handle business or being summoned by the king directly.

But doing so would be folly to take a count character out exploring rather than just starting another character who you can start an organization through the count or backed by your count character that is funded for exploration or prospecting that wont take huge hits on your count character in terms of stamina as by leaving your county opens you up to being a target as you would need to bring a vanguard with you that gets harder to have players active to protect you.

You also have to keep in mind that you have a daily finite stamina pool before you need to rest. You can push it some but it has consiquences the next day or affects your health. You will also need multiple characters if you plan to play a lot so that you can take full advantage of the game. Especially if you plan to bea count but also explore or run an organization that aids your count or explorer to cut down the costs of exploring by crafting your own supplies.

Organized exploration will be fun but also at the same time most domains will be fairly dense with activity in the true sense of exploration unless you are sailing off to adventure islands if you arent land locked inland. Its still possible but it also opens up you to perma death if your ship goes down. There is risk but there is also a lot of reward in doing so.

I feel like it would have been more interesting if we would have started with a duchy sized kingdom per biome that would have allowed for expansion and nearly unlimited exploration as we rebuilt the world and expanded more naturally, I get why SBS isnt going that route but it would have been fun if there were servers built for that type of ruleset.